AULD REEKIE COCK-A-LEEKIE
This is an old Scotch-Irish recipe much favored by soldiers for obvious reasons. Others, I suppose, would call it a waste of good whiskey. I think it all sounds pretty good, at least until we get to the prunes at the end.
• 5 ounces single-malt Scotch whiskey
• 4 pints water
• 1 tablespoon dried tarragon
• 1 teaspoon brown sugar
• 1 3-pound boiling chicken, giblets removed
• 3 slices streaky bacon, chopped
• 1 pound shin of beef
• 2 pounds leeks, chopped (white and pale parts only)
• 1 large onion, chopped
• salt and pepper to taste
• 8 prunes, pre-soaked
Mix the whiskey with the water, tarragon and sugar. Place the chicken, bacon and beef into a large bowl andpour the whiskey marinade over. Leave to marinate overnight.
Next day, transfer mixture to a large soup pot. Add the leeks (reserving one) and the onion, and season to taste. Bring slowly to a boil, cover, and then simmer for 2 hours, or until the bird is tender. Skim off excess fat from the liquid.
Remove the chicken from the pot, skin, remove bones and cut meat into pieces before returning to the pot (cut up the shin of beef, if necessary). Add the prunes and remaining sliced leek and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.